Monday, May 11, 2009

The Meads of Asphodel - Damascus Steel

7/10

"Damascus Steel" follows the same formula as the band's other releases, but that formula hasn't really gotten stale yet, so it's all good. The non-musical samples have been toned down a bit, with most of them appearing in the opening instrumental track, which minimizes one of my pet peeves about the Meads.
My favorite track is a deliciously tasteless cover of Louis Armstrong's "Wonderful World," with hilariously depraved and cynical lyrics; Metatron does a great job of parodying Armstrong's gravelly voice. I also greatly enjoyed the Hammond organ solo in "The Gods Who Mock Us" (I believe it's played by Sigh's Mirai Kawashima).
However, while the Meads have gotten some of the kinks out of their formula, they haven't really progressed a whole lot. That's okay for now, but if the rest of their albums are all like this, it might be cause for concern. The main reason I docked this from an 8 to a 7 is that there's one of those obnoxious hidden tracks on the end that's preceded by a long period of silence. I fucking hate that gimmick. Can't they at least make a whole bunch of silent hidden tracks in between, like on that one Tool album, so I won't have to rip an mp3 with minutes of silence to my computer? Ugh.

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